Shimla: A weather battered fruit economy in the hills hopes to find a security cover as the Agriculture Insurance Company of India gears up to introduce a weather based crop insurance for apples and mangoes in select producing blocks.
The weather based crop insurance scheme on a pilot basis has been introduced in Theog, Jubbal, Narkanda, Rohru and Chirgaon blocks of Shimla district and Ani block of Kullu district for apple crop and in Fatehpur, Nurpur, Indora and Nagrota Surian blocks of Kangra district for mango crop, said an government spokesman.
Fifty percent of the total premium would be borne by the insured cultivator and rest by the central and state governments in equal proportion. Chilling requirement, temperature fluctuations, deficit or excess rainfall are some of the weather perils which this scheme covers for apple crop and frost, temperature fluctuations, rainfall and wind speed for mango crop.
The insurance terms include that the scheme is compulsory for all those cultivators who have a sanctioned credit limit from a financial institution as on 5th December, 2009 for Apple and Mango crops and is voluntary for others.
The state level bankers committee, lead bank managers, co-operative banks and Agriculture Insurance Company of India have been entrusted the responsibility of implementation of this scheme.
To ensure remunerative prices the government has a Market Intervention Scheme (MIS) for Apple, Mango in place whereby a support price of Rs.5.25 per kg is being given for apple and grafted mango produce. Under the scheme the 44854 tons of apples has been procured this season, said the spokesman. In 2008-09 the state recorded a fruit production of 6.28 tons.